The Ulster Museum is fortunate to have an extensive collection of ceramics made by the Belleek Pottery, located in Fermanagh.

The pottery was founded by landowner John Calderwell Bloomfield in 1849 after a geological survey he commissioned showed that showed large clay deposits on his estates. He was also keen to give employment to his estate workers after the economic disruption caused by the Irish Famine.

The pottery has turned out all manner of ceramic objects including crockery, tiles and sculptures. It is best known for its Parian ware. Parian ware is unglazed porcelain that has a matt appearance that imitates marble.

The Belleek Pottery today employs around 500 people and has an annual turnover of £30m.

The UM obtained its collection of Belleek pottery when Canon John Grainger bequeathed his extensive personal collection of ceramics to the museum in 1891.